Shamat is a graphic tool for create hex-based dungeon and outdoor maps.
Shamat is built entirely in web technologies and runs in your browser. You can download the package to run locally on your computer within the browser, or access the online version. Both offer the same functionality, you just don't need an active web connection for the downloaded version.
Shamat User Guide
This document is currently under design. Not all sections are filled in yet. Please consult the Help entries within the program for questions not covered here.
Shamat uses a hexagonal grid, on which you will draw various design elements. These elements may be drawn in various colours, and many of them can be rotated and flip to produce additional visual effects. The main purposes of this tool are for creating dungeon maps and terrain maps. Dungeon maps represent underground structures and overland buildings with walls, floors, corridors, doors, stairs and such. Terrain maps cover a much larger scale and depict the various kinds of landscape found at that scale, such as forests, mountains, rivers, lakes, roads, and so forth. All design elements can be used for any map, but some you may find more useful for one kind than the other.
Before we get into how to use Shamat, it is useful to quickly cover the concept of layers as they apply to this program. Layers are the different planes on which you can draw, and can be thought of a stack of clear sheets that your drawings go onto. The layer that an element is drawn on determines whether it appears above or below another element in that hex. The layers in Shamat are:
- Base: This is the bottommost layer. This is useful for elements that will have nothing further drawn below them, such as floors, bodies of water, and base colours for terrains.
- Overlay: This layer sits above the Base layer and is designed for building block elements. Walls, paths, and other elements which occupy just part of a hex work well here, since the Base layer will show through the unuses parts of the hex.
Elements drawn on this layer will use a darker version of the selected colour. This was intended so that you could use the same material (like stone or wood) for both the floor on Base and the walls on Overlay, and they would stand out from each other.
- Symbology: This layer contains all of the symbology elements - Features, Terrains, and Annotations. These sit on top of the literal map elements and tell the viewer more about what the hex contains.
- Megahexes: This layer contains only the megahex overlay grid, and is superimposed over the entire map when turned on.
One nice thing about the Layers is that the Eraser tool only works on the currently selected layer. So you can remove walls on the Overlay layer without destroying the floors laid on the Base layer. Since Features, Terrains, and Annotations all sit on the Symbology layer, the Eraser tool will erase all three from the same hex.
A final word about the draw order. While elements are drawn in order based on their layer, you can also have multiple elements within a hex on the same layer. These will draw in the order they were added, with the most recent one on top. So for example if you are on the Symbology layer and have a Town in a hex which you want to add a Forest to, if the Forest is added second it will draw on top of the Town. If you want the Town on top, erase both elements from the hex, add the Forest, then add the Town.
This section contains these basic information and settings on your map project.
- Map Name: This is the name of your map. It will be used as the filename when saving the map file, and when exporting map image.
- Rows and Columns: These set how large your map area is. Rows are the number of hexes going from left to right, and columns the number of hexes going from top to bottom. You can enter new numbers and then click the Update button to change the size of the map.
- Zoom: This slider controls how large the hexes appear in the editor window. Drag the slider to change the zoom level until you get a size that is comfortable for you to work in. The zoom ranges from 4 to 64. It defaults to 16.
- Outline: This slider controls how dark the hex grid outline is. It ranges from 0 (pure black) to 255 (pure white). It defaults to 127 (50% grey).